Top 10 Sales Books of All Time

Last Updated Oct 28, 2011 2:49 PM EDT

Amazon.com currently lists 270,902 books with "Sales" in the title. That's a heck of a lot of reading, especially for somebody who has to go out and sell for a living. With that in mind, I thought I'd list out the ten books which I believe should be in every sales professional's library. Here are the sales books (and sales thinkers) that have most heavily influenced my thinking on the subject (in alphabetical order):
  • Better PowerPoint by Stephen M. Kosslyn (Oxford University Press, 2011). Why: Kosslyn analyzes presentations using the latest science on perception.
  • Mastering the Complex Sale by Jeff Thull (Wiley, 2010). Why: Thull is a "big thinker" with a broad prespective about how complex sales go through different stages.
  • No More Cold Calling by Joanne Black (Business Plus, 2006 ). Why: Joanne is THE expert on using your social and business network to build up your client base.
  • Perfect Selling by Linda Richardson (McGraw-Hill, 2008). Why: Linda Richardson understands more about selling than you or I will ever know in 10 lifetimes.
  • Persuasive Business Proposals by Tom Sant (3rd edition, AMACOM, 2011). Why: There's a reason this is a classic; it explains how win the HUGE contracts that build businesses.
  • The Complete Idiot's Guide to Cold Calling by Keith Rosen (Alpha Books, 2004). Why: This is simply the most straightforward guide I've ever seen to this very challenging part of the sales process.
  • The Funnel Principle by Mark Sellers (Self-published, 2008). Why: Mark upends your thinking about sales pipelines and how to make them work for you rather than against you.
  • The New Solution Selling by Keith Eades (McGraw-Hill, 2004). Why: Keith provides a much needed update to the decades-old concept of solution selling.
  • The Sales Winner's Handbook by Wendy Weiss (DFD Publications, 2010). Why: In addition to bringing a female perspective to the often macho world of selling, Wendy is all about practical techniques that work from square A.
  • The Seven Keys to Effective Business-to-Business Appointment Setting by Andrea Sittig-Rolf (Thomson/Aspatore Inc., 2006). Why: Getting the first appointment is still the most difficult part of selling and this is a perfect guide for those who must run the gauntlet.
READERS: This, like any list compiled by a single source, reflects MY own biases and background, so please feel free to add your own favorites!

My new book, How to Say It: Business to Business Selling contains an introduction to the concepts of ALL the authors mentioned in the list. It is now available for discounted presale here:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Indiebound
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